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Archive for August, 2008

Health Tip…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 30, 2008

Have your breakfast between 7-9 am to make your day an active day!

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Startup Essentials: Seven Staples of Public Speaking…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 28, 2008

Remember these tips the next time you face an audience…

It’s a common reaction – most people simply do not enjoy speaking in front of an audience. But you anxieties can be lessened if you remember these seven simple strategies:

  1. Do not try to hide behind technology. A common – and disastrous – mistake is to say, ” I will put my presentation on Power – Point. Then nobody will focus on me.” Wrong. A bad speaker with PowerPoint is still a bad speaker. PowerPoint, used with restraint, can be an enhancement to your presentation. It is never, however, a substitute for preparation.
  2. The audience is rarely the enemy. When asked why people fear public speaking, a common response is, ” Because the audience is just waiting for me to screw up.” Wrong. While it is tru that the audience members may not always agree with your message, they almost never want you to fail. That is, no one comes to a presentation saying, “I hope the speaker screws up.” Why not? Because a bad presentation is painful. Instead, since most people hope for a good performance, most people are inherently on your side from the start. Therefore, even in an audience of strangers, most will be allies, not adversaries. Take comfort in their support.
  3. Begin by choosing one of four objectives. Everyone knows that before you start any project, you should determine your objective. Yet many speakers skip this essential step, preferring instead to ” just wing it.” Bad idea. When you wing it, it shows, and no one is ever happy with the result. Good speakers, however, always begin their projects by asking themselves, ” Is my objective to inform, to persuade, to inspire or to entertain?”You can choose one, two, three or  all four, but you must choose at least one. Remember, if your objective is’nt clear to you, the audience will never figure it out. Don’t expect them to do your work for you.
  4. Speak with your audience, not to them. Speaking styles change over time. William Jennings Bryan, considered a great orator a century ago, would have a hard time fininding an audience today. That’s because his style of grand oratory is long gone. Today’s audiences generally want short short, practical presentations – more tightly focussed and with an emphasis on “What’s in it for me?” These days, lectures, expecially long ones, are not well recieved. Today’s best speakers know that a good speech is good conversation. And the best speakers speak conversationally while keeping it brief.
  5. Nothing can top a good story. The essence of public speaking is simply this: Make a point, tell a story. Make another point, tell another story. People don’t remember points. But they do remember stories. So, where do you get good stories to make your points? Some speakers turn to such sources as “the Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. Bad idea. The stories in those books are’nt your stories. They happened to – and they belong to -other people. Instead, just pay attention to the little stories of the little things that happen to you on a daily basis. As soon as you start using your personal, real-life stories and anecdotes, you will never have to turn to someone else’s material again. And as soon as you start achoring your points with your personal stories, audiences will start remembering you.
  6. Write it out. Yes, wrote your speech word by worde, but don’t ever stand there and read it. You probably have been bored to tears by a speaker who stood motionless behind a lectern while he read his speech. Reading a speech shows a lack of preparation or a lack of commitment to the message. So, if you are not going to read it, why would you take the effort to write it word for word? It’s because writing a speech encourages brevity and precision.. Have you ever heard a speaker take 10 minuteas to make a point that could have been made in one or two? That’s what happens when the speech is not well written or well edited. Good speakers pack the most information into the least time because they are good editors. But you can’t edit what you have’nt written. Therefore, write out your thoughts, then edit aggressively. Finally, rehearse your tightly edited stories to the point where you can deliver them by referring to no more than a few note cards.
  7. There is no substitute for practice. Few people speak well extemporaneously. The great soeakers you have ever heard are the ones who have expanded the greatest effort. Speaking is a skill that takes practice. So practice a presentation aloud, at full volume, until it flows smoothly and you are comfortable with its rythm. It will sound entirely different when practiced aloud than when merely rehearsed in your head. The audience will hear the “aloud” version, so you’d better be sure you are comfortable with what they are going to hear.

[Source: Toastmaster’s August 2008 Ed.]

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Health Tip…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 28, 2008

Cabbage has curative values for gastrointestinal disorders…

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2nd Angel Mentoring Meeting…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 26, 2008

2nd Angel Mentoring Meeting
29th August, 2008
08.00AM – 10.00 AM

One of the most common pain points & challenges that we have learnt facing most entrepreneurs is the aspect of timely funding, right valuation & what level of impact it can have on making our entrepreneurial journey successful & meaningful. To build greater awareness & have you completely proficient in writing good business plans which in turn help in evoking serious interest from investors.

Amity Innovation Incubator (www.amity.edu/aii ) in association with Indian Angel Network- India’s first and largest business angel group will conduct special in-depth sessions to not only acquaint but make you the masters in the funding game. This special session would be conducted by Vikram Upadhyaya, an Angel Investor.  Vikram is a visionary & an entrepreneur, holding 10 years of Indo-Japan Market Experience and deeply associated with Indo-Japanese socio-economic activities too. He is a technocrat turned entrepreneur holding a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

The session would focus on Understanding the Business Plan Template, as well as dealing with common challenges which one faces while filling out the business plan template. The session would also give you critical insights, tips & tricks on how to effectively fill up the business plan template. Some Key aspects the session would cover are:
 
Ø      The importance of a good business plan template? Is it just an application document or more a vision document for the venture?
Ø      How does an investor evaluate my filled up business plan template? What are the things that he looks for?
Ø      How to squeeze your entire business proposition in just 2 pages without diluting the value & vision of your proposal.
Ø      & much more…
 
1ST Angel Mentoring Meet was held on 2nd August, 2008 was attended by 25 startups.
 
Indian Angel Network:
Indian Angel Network – India’s first and largest business angel group – brings together successful entrepreneurs and high profile CEOs who invest in early stage businesses across India which have potential to create disproportionate value for all stakeholders.
 
The Network provides: Funding up to USD 1mn:

  • Mentoring and strategic thought leadership
  • Ability to leverage the Members’ network
  • Brand enhancement with investment from IAN members

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World Champions in Public Speaking

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 26, 2008

David Brooks (Winner of 1990, World Champion in Public Speaking & Mentor/Coach of 7 World Champions of Public Speaking) workshop.

Date:      2nd September,2008
Venue:   The India Islamic Center (near the Habitat Center)
Time:      6.00p.m. – 9.30 p.m. The registration shall start at 6.00p.m.

The registration fee is Rs. 350/- subject to any other communication in this regard from the Division Governor of Toastmaster’s Club.

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Health Tip

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 25, 2008

Lack of Appetite? Take mixture of 1/2 tsp each of ginger juice and honey, after lunch and dinner.

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Wireless power ‘eliminates chargers’

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 25, 2008

Intel showed off a wireless electric power system that analysts say could revolutionise modern life by freeing devices from transformers and wall outlets.

Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner demonstrated a Wireless Energy Resonant Link as he spoke at the California firm’s annual developers forum in San Francisco.

Electricity was sent wirelessly to a lamp on stage, lighting a 60 watt bulb that uses more power than a typical laptop computer.

Most importantly, the electricity was transmitted without zapping anything or anyone that got between the sending and receiving units.

“The trick with wireless power is not can you do it; it’s  – can you do it safely and efficiently,” Intel researcher Josh Smith said in an online video explaining the breakthrough.

“It turns out the human body is not affected by magnetic fields; it is affected by elective fields. So what we are doing is transmitting energy using the magnetic field not the electric field.”

Examples of potential applications include airports, offices or other buildings that could be rigged to supply power to laptops, mobile telephones or other devices toted into them.

The technology could also be built into plugged in computer components, such as monitors, to enable them to broadcast power to devices left on desks or carried into rooms, according to Smith.

“Initially it eliminates chargers and eventually it eliminates batteries all together,” analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said of Intel’s wireless power system.

“That is potentially a world changing event. This is the closest we’ve had to something being commercially available in this class.”

Previous wireless power systems consisted basically of firing lightning bolts from sending to receiving units.

Smith says Intel’s wireless power system is still in an early stage of development and much research remains before it can be brought to market.

Rattner spoke of technological transformations he expects by the year 2050.

“You’d like to cut the last cord,” Smith said.

“It’s great that we have wireless email and wireless internet and stuff like that but at the end of the day it would be nice to have wireless recharge as well.” [Source]

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Management Rules for Startups from the School of Beane…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 25, 2008

If you’re a major league baseball fan, you’ve probably read “Moneyball,” the best-selling book by journalist Michael Lewis chronicling the successful statistics-driven management of Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane.

Plenty of corporate executives have tried to apply Beane’s tactics to their own operations. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson did one better: In 2007 he invited Billy Beane to join NetSuite’s board of directors.

Nelson says tracking nonstandard performance stats has helped improve the efficiency of NetSuite’s sales process. Most CEOs track their marketing spend, lead generations and closed contracts independently; NetSuite tracks which marketing plans (players) turn into leads (walk ons) and which leads convert to sales (runs). If improving your company’s sales efficiency is the aim, then “walk ons” — or how you get to the sale — is the key stat, just as in baseball. Below Nelson offers a few tips from Beane’s play book to get you started “managing by the numbers.”

Management Rules from the School of Beane:

1. Just start measuring it. In the early stages of your business it may be difficult to know which stats will be the most important for evaluating your operation. (Operating expenses or burn rate? New sales or renewals?) Don’t get too hung up on selection, just start doing it. “It’s easier to measuring things now than later, when your business is much more complicated,” Nelson says.

2. Reduce the number of systems you use. Whether you’re using sophisticated SaaS applications, or a simple spreadsheet system, streamline. It’s best to unify data tracking into a single system so you can correlate the data. It’s fine to use multiple applications (one for finance, another for marketing), but keep in mind that when you fragment your data, it becomes harder to “connect the dots” and draw operationally useful conclusions.

3. No such thing as a wrong metric. It doesn’t matter if you discover you’ve been measuring a useless data point. Once you know, you can eliminate it and choose something more appropriate. There is such a thing as overkill. Nelson found that measuring the number of product demonstrations his sales representatives were doing wasn’t helpful; he could never correlate a single demo and a final sale. “Since there was no value in collecting that data point, we don’t track it anymore.”

4. Consistency is king. The one thing you can’t do is modify, in midstream, the specific terms you use to collect a data point. If you start out tracking contract renewals by geographic region, don’t change midstream to collect renewals by product line. Just start collecting a second data point. It’s more important to build up a body of historical data than to make changes in the heat of the moment.

5. Trust your data. Even when your intuition suggests otherwise. You have to have the courage and conviction to trust your data, and act on it, Nelson says. If your data says spending money on conferences like CES or Web 2.0 Summit does not convert to sales, don’t go — no matter how important you think it is to be seen at such events.

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VC Investment in India jumps 120% in Q2 2008: Bubble in making?

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 22, 2008

Advertising startups rule the VC world and ~37% of VC investment has gone in these startups.

Few interesting stats:

  • India attracted $238 million in venture investment with 17 deals closed in the second quarter, a 120% increase over the $108 million invested in 12 deals during the same period in 2007.
  • 7 second-round deals completed in the second quarter – total of $161 million.
  • 10 seed and first round deals were also completed during the quarter, accounting for nearly $77 million in investment
  • No later-stage deals were completed.

Sectoral split

  • Business & Financial Services industry, which includes the advertising/marketing sector, received the bulk of investment with $131 million invested in nine deals, records on both accounts.
  • Second in terms of investment was India’s Information Technology (IT) industry, which recorded three deals and $33 million worth of investment during the second quarter, a 55% decline from the $73 million invested in nine deals during the same period last year.[source]

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Toastmaster’s for Startups…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 22, 2008

I believe all startups in this world have the basic need of marketing guys in their teams for them to get business. Either you hire these guys/ girls Or you market yourself. But, startups are generally on bootstrapped budegts themselves so the first option gooes out of the window right away. So, the left out option of marketing your startups is a difficult ones as not all in this world is born with public speaking skills.

As anybody else around the world, same is the story with me. Thus, in order to become an effective speaker, I joined Toastmaster’s club. Its a beautiful platform where anyone and everyone can come and learn to be an effective speaker. I am member of South Delhi Toastmasters Club. Visit our club once and I assure your that you won’t regret it. Toastmasters currently has more than 200,000 members in 80 countries. Our club is just one of the more than 10,000 clubs located around the world.

Today we celebrated 100th. meeting of this club with families of the club members and guests. It was a wonderful evening. I have seen mostly who ever comes there atleast once or twice definitely jons the club soon.

We have meetings every Thursday evening for about 120 minutes each. Each meeting is divided into sections in which some people give prepared speeches, there is an impromptu section, jokes session, evaluation section etc. Here everybody comes for self development and thus the whole environment is very supportive.

In the end, I would say…any and all startups should have aleast one member of their members in some toastmasters club. In Delhi-NCR alone there are close to 5-7 clubs. You can join any and start benefiting from day one.

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